Most people enjoy Christmas and rightly see it as a celebration. The ‘E’ of ‘Advent’ stands for enjoyment. The Westminster Catechism tells us that ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever’, but somehow, Christianity seems to have become divorced from joy and pleasure, with people associating the faith with doom and gloom, restrictions and prohibition. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Pleasure and enjoyment are God’s idea. Paul tells Timothy to teach others to ‘put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.’ (1 Tim 6:17) James tells us ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.’ (James 1:17) Blessing, abundance and joy are gifts from God, a God who is good and who does what is good. (Ps 119:68)
Christmas stirs our God-given capacity for joy, and although there will be always be those among us who hate the festivities for a variety of reasons, most of us look forward to pleasure with hope and expectation. It’s only fitting that in this time of preparation, enjoyment plays a key role.